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PROJECT INTRODUCTION

WOMEN, FAMILIES, CAREERS – EFFECTS OF THE PANDEMIC ON WORK/LIFE BALANCE
IN THE VISEGRAD COUNTRIES
Updated 12/09/2021

 

Project title: 
Women, Families, Careers – Effects of the Pandemic on Work/Life Balance in the Visegrad Countries

Implementation of the Project: 1st October 2021 to 30 April 2022

 

Rationale

With our nearly 20-years of experience and professional background we, the Association for Women’s Career Development in Hungary, consider it our duty to address the impact of the pandemic on women, especially the impact on work/life balance. Therefore we are pleased that together with our professional  partners from the V4 countries, the Business & Professional Women CR z.s. from the Czech Republic, the  Association of Business Women from the Slovak Republic and the Pedagogical University of Krakow from Poland, we have the opportunity to implement the “Women, Families, Careers – Effects of the Pandemic on Work/Life Balance in the Visegrad Countries” project  betweenOctober 2021 and 30 April 2022 thanks to the support of the Visegrad Fund. Within the framework of our Project, we will examine the impact of the pandemic on four special groups of women (mothers with children, women who are plan a family, women over 50, and rural women), in particular with relation to the labor market.

The project will be implemented simultaneously in 4 countries with mainly online tools, which will ensure that we involve a large audience from all 4 countries, thanks to the active participation of the 4 organizations and the mobilization of their network of contacts.

Project Outputs

We will prepare a Research Study including Analysis (applied combined quantitative method with a secondary research background and qualitative research) and Recommendations based on the Focus Group interviews and the Electronic Survey to be carried out simultaneously in the V4 countries in November-December 2021.

Based on our previous experience and findings, we have decided to examine the impact of the pandemic on four special groups of women (mothers with children, women who are planning a family, women over 50, rural women), in particular with relation to labor market in the V4 countries:

The themes of the research will the about the impact of the pandemic on the organization of family life, on the daily work and on cooperation with the employer, the organization of life after the pandemic, as well as future expectations and visions.

We will organize a Multiplying Event / International Conference titled “Women, Families, Careers – Effects of the Pandemic on Work/Life Balance in the Visegrad Countries” in Budapest in March 2022, which will be in hybrid form including the relevant target groups, stakeholders and decision makers through the network of our partnerships.

We will welcome participants from the V4 countries and also from the EU countries and the West Balkan countries. By streaming the conference online, participation will be open everyone in the world during the conference, and after the conference we will put the recording on YouTube.

We will organize awareness-raising related to the project in all the V4 countries, simultaneously  presenting the process of project implementation, the possibility of participating in the survey and the multiplier event and the results of our research, which will be freely available to all in each country.

We are going to include and mobilize our Stakeholders

We wish to emphasize that the issue of work / private life / family cannot be examined, and the situation cannot be improved without government measures and that cooperation with the relevant decision-makers is essential for our V4 partnering organizations.

Therefore, we are going to include - through our extensive network of contacts - governments, local governments, parliaments, embassies, the economic and scientific sphere, chambers of commerce, as well as civil society - women’s rights and women’s business organizations, the media, and all women and men interested in women’s empowerment and work/life balance.

Result and Sustainability

Based on our findings, analyses of well-founded professional data and materials, credible experts and good practices in the context of V4 countries on the topic, we are going to provide a well-founded background for decision makers regarding the impact of the pandemic on these special groups of women, in particular with relation to labor market.

The information and experiences received from the project are also essential for preparing for a future challenge and can be utilized also in “peacetime".

The Partnership

Within the EU, the V4 countries form a distinct cultural region. This impacts on its men and women, family, career and work and the attitudes of the citizens. Research shows that V4 countries are the most family-centric nations (research by the Maria Kopp Institute and the Századvég Alapítvány).

The heads of the families’ portfolios/ ministries from the V4 countries incl. Katalin Novák, Minister for Family from Hungary, Jana Malacova of the Czech Republic, Poland's Marlena Malag, nd Milan Krajniak from Slovakia - issued a joint declaration of their commitment to family values at a videoconference on 18 May 2021.

It is important that women should not have to choose between their family and their career.

Governments have a role to play in supporting work/life balance. Therefore surveys, interviews, research are required. We have taken into consideration the regional aspects of the pandemic when we set our project theme, the target groups and the members of our regional cooperation for implementation. In our partnership 3 civil organizations and a university are working together. We all are eligible and prepared to fulfil the project goals, based on the references obtained in country level and European Union professional and scientific projects (Erasmus +, Horizon, COST, Visegrad Fund). We are motivated by the feeling of belonging to the Visegrad group and the importance of our common task. The project initiative is fully consistent with the goals of the Visegrad Fund.

The Coordinator

The Hungarian Women's Career Development Association (AWCDH) founded in 2003, aims to promote women’s employment while balancing the needs of family life. To this end it is essential that we foster a dialogue between the legislature, the government, the corporate and non-profit spheres and higher education, in cooperation with international experts and NGOs both on the cross-border and EU levels.

In pursuit of its objectives, AWCDH looks to adopt all positive foreign best practices within a Hungarian framework, while at the same time it hopes to present exemplary Hungarian practices abroad by utilizing its network within the European Union and the United Nations. AWCDH has been granted the opportunity to cooperate in the work of UN/ECOSOC as the first Hungarian NGO in “Special consultative status with UN-ECOSOC”, awarded in 2009. This recognition adds strength to our work in the field of European relations and global issues such as women’s equality, women’s rights, sustainability and demographic change.

It is important that we present good practices of successful work / life balance in the case of mothers with young children, women over 50, rural women, fresh graduates, and women with disabilities.

We have organized over 40 international conferences as well as many meetings and workshops since our foundation.

This year, for the fourteenth time, we are inviting for participation in the survey of our "Best Workplace for Women” Award announced on 8th March 2021 which has received recognition also at EU level. This is a continuation of the successful initiative launched in 2007, at the time of the “Equal Opportunities for All – European Year”.  Since 2007 we have carried out surveys in connection with our “Best Workplace for Women” Award among employers and employees. Our special database regarding women’s employment and women’s well-being is available as a representative sample reflecting the opinion of more than 18 thousand employees.

Within the framework of EU adult education programs (Grundtvig and Erasmus+), we have carried out research and training projects. Following this work, we have obtained references in the field of international dissemination.

In 2019 we decided to start a common platform as a V4 civil society initiative – the Visegrad Women’s Initiative to help promote women’s employment with particular emphasis on the reconciliation of work and private/family life by sharing knowledge, experiences and best practices with special regard to the values of our region and its sustainability.

We have realized our first Visegrad Women Project as Coordinator under title „Women, Families, Careers - a Civil Society Forum in the V4 Spirit" thanks to the support of the Visegrad Fund and the Hungarian Ministry of Human Capacities in 2000. We have also introduced the project on EU and UN levels.

Our Czech Partner

The Business & Professional Women CR (BPWCR) is a Czech non-profit organization, founded in 2010. It is a participating partner in the most influential federation, BPW International, which has an advisory status in the UN and participative status in Council of Europe.

Its members are influential women in leading positions, businesswomen and managers. The main BPW objective is to help professional women in their economic, political and social life. It attains this goal through networking, mentoring and lifelong learning, as well as projects targeting specific groups of women. For 12 years they have organized the largest conference, Equal Pay Day, which not only draws attention to the still high discrepancy in men's and women's incomes, but also addresses the position of women at work and presents women's role models. They were participating partners in the Visegrad Project “Women, Families, Careers – a Civil Society Forum in the V4 Spirit” in 2020, coordinated by the AWCDH.

Our Polish Partner

The Pedagogical University of Krakow works closely with business and industry and NGOs, and also with diverse social environments.  The effects of strengthening these relations include development of new courses and specializations, taking into account the needs of the dynamically developing labor market, contracts with representatives of the industry and services sector, cooperation with HR departments of the largest companies. It participates in Erasmus+ and Horizon EU projects. It established cooperation with the Association for Women’s Career Development in the field of „women’s career for a lifetime” and work/life balance issues. As Partner in the “Women, Families, Careers – A Civil Society Forum in the V4 Spirit” it will focus on tasks relating to research and dissemination through its academic network in Poland and around the world.

Our Slovak Partner

The Association of Business Women and Managers, founded in 2001, is a non-profit, non-governmental and non-state association. They are dedicated to support and promote the interests and needs of businesswomen and women in leading positions. They also support women’s leadership in our society. They have participated in following projects: •Entrepreneurship in rural tourism and agrotourism - Phare project • Slovakia-Czech conference on international level: New Trends in Employment - Telework •Project "A child is not an obstacle - or the return of women after maternity leave •Employers are family-friendly and gender equal • REGIONFEMME - women - education - entrepreneurship – Slovak – Austrian project in years 2009 – 2013. As an associate partner, we have also participated in the AWCDH’s project, “Women, Families, Careers – A Civil Society Forum in the V4 Spirit” in 2020, to which we were invited by the Slovak Business Agency.

 

Further information:
Ms. Andrea Ferenczi project manager
Mobile: +36309827093
Email: ferenczi@t-online.hu
 www.visegradwomen.net

 

The Project is co- financed by the Governments of Czechia, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia
 through Visegrad Grants from International Visegrad Fund.
The mission of the fund is to advance ideas for sustainable regional cooperation in Central Europe.
www.visegradfund.org

PROJECT INTRODUCTION

WOMEN, FAMILIES, CAREERS – EFFECTS OF THE PANDEMIC ON WORK/LIFE BALANCE
IN THE VISEGRAD COUNTRIES
Updated 12/09/2021

 

Project title: 
Women, Families, Careers – Effects of the Pandemic on Work/Life Balance in the Visegrad Countries

Implementation of the Project: 1st October 2021 to 30 April 2022

 

Rationale

With our nearly 20-years of experience and professional background we, the Association for Women’s Career Development in Hungary, consider it our duty to address the impact of the pandemic on women, especially the impact on work/life balance. Therefore we are pleased that together with our professional  partners from the V4 countries, the Business & Professional Women CR z.s. from the Czech Republic, the  Association of Business Women from the Slovak Republic and the Pedagogical University of Krakow from Poland, we have the opportunity to implement the “Women, Families, Careers – Effects of the Pandemic on Work/Life Balance in the Visegrad Countries” project  betweenOctober 2021 and 30 April 2022 thanks to the support of the Visegrad Fund. Within the framework of our Project, we will examine the impact of the pandemic on four special groups of women (mothers with children, women who are plan a family, women over 50, and rural women), in particular with relation to the labor market.

The project will be implemented simultaneously in 4 countries with mainly online tools, which will ensure that we involve a large audience from all 4 countries, thanks to the active participation of the 4 organizations and the mobilization of their network of contacts.

Project Outputs

We will prepare a Research Study including Analysis (applied combined quantitative method with a secondary research background and qualitative research) and Recommendations based on the Focus Group interviews and the Electronic Survey to be carried out simultaneously in the V4 countries in November-December 2021.

Based on our previous experience and findings, we have decided to examine the impact of the pandemic on four special groups of women (mothers with children, women who are planning a family, women over 50, rural women), in particular with relation to labor market in the V4 countries:

The themes of the research will the about the impact of the pandemic on the organization of family life, on the daily work and on cooperation with the employer, the organization of life after the pandemic, as well as future expectations and visions.

We will organize a Multiplying Event / International Conference titled “Women, Families, Careers – Effects of the Pandemic on Work/Life Balance in the Visegrad Countries” in Budapest in March 2022, which will be in hybrid form including the relevant target groups, stakeholders and decision makers through the network of our partnerships.

We will welcome participants from the V4 countries and also from the EU countries and the West Balkan countries. By streaming the conference online, participation will be open everyone in the world during the conference, and after the conference we will put the recording on YouTube.

We will organize awareness-raising related to the project in all the V4 countries, simultaneously  presenting the process of project implementation, the possibility of participating in the survey and the multiplier event and the results of our research, which will be freely available to all in each country.

We are going to include and mobilize our Stakeholders

We wish to emphasize that the issue of work / private life / family cannot be examined, and the situation cannot be improved without government measures and that cooperation with the relevant decision-makers is essential for our V4 partnering organizations.

Therefore, we are going to include - through our extensive network of contacts - governments, local governments, parliaments, embassies, the economic and scientific sphere, chambers of commerce, as well as civil society - women’s rights and women’s business organizations, the media, and all women and men interested in women’s empowerment and work/life balance.

Result and Sustainability

Based on our findings, analyses of well-founded professional data and materials, credible experts and good practices in the context of V4 countries on the topic, we are going to provide a well-founded background for decision makers regarding the impact of the pandemic on these special groups of women, in particular with relation to labor market.

The information and experiences received from the project are also essential for preparing for a future challenge and can be utilized also in “peacetime".

The Partnership

Within the EU, the V4 countries form a distinct cultural region. This impacts on its men and women, family, career and work and the attitudes of the citizens. Research shows that V4 countries are the most family-centric nations (research by the Maria Kopp Institute and the Századvég Alapítvány).

The heads of the families’ portfolios/ ministries from the V4 countries incl. Katalin Novák, Minister for Family from Hungary, Jana Malacova of the Czech Republic, Poland's Marlena Malag, nd Milan Krajniak from Slovakia - issued a joint declaration of their commitment to family values at a videoconference on 18 May 2021.

It is important that women should not have to choose between their family and their career.

Governments have a role to play in supporting work/life balance. Therefore surveys, interviews, research are required. We have taken into consideration the regional aspects of the pandemic when we set our project theme, the target groups and the members of our regional cooperation for implementation. In our partnership 3 civil organizations and a university are working together. We all are eligible and prepared to fulfil the project goals, based on the references obtained in country level and European Union professional and scientific projects (Erasmus +, Horizon, COST, Visegrad Fund). We are motivated by the feeling of belonging to the Visegrad group and the importance of our common task. The project initiative is fully consistent with the goals of the Visegrad Fund.

The Coordinator

The Hungarian Women's Career Development Association (AWCDH) founded in 2003, aims to promote women’s employment while balancing the needs of family life. To this end it is essential that we foster a dialogue between the legislature, the government, the corporate and non-profit spheres and higher education, in cooperation with international experts and NGOs both on the cross-border and EU levels.

In pursuit of its objectives, AWCDH looks to adopt all positive foreign best practices within a Hungarian framework, while at the same time it hopes to present exemplary Hungarian practices abroad by utilizing its network within the European Union and the United Nations. AWCDH has been granted the opportunity to cooperate in the work of UN/ECOSOC as the first Hungarian NGO in “Special consultative status with UN-ECOSOC”, awarded in 2009. This recognition adds strength to our work in the field of European relations and global issues such as women’s equality, women’s rights, sustainability and demographic change.

It is important that we present good practices of successful work / life balance in the case of mothers with young children, women over 50, rural women, fresh graduates, and women with disabilities.

We have organized over 40 international conferences as well as many meetings and workshops since our foundation.

This year, for the fourteenth time, we are inviting for participation in the survey of our "Best Workplace for Women” Award announced on 8th March 2021 which has received recognition also at EU level. This is a continuation of the successful initiative launched in 2007, at the time of the “Equal Opportunities for All – European Year”.  Since 2007 we have carried out surveys in connection with our “Best Workplace for Women” Award among employers and employees. Our special database regarding women’s employment and women’s well-being is available as a representative sample reflecting the opinion of more than 18 thousand employees.

Within the framework of EU adult education programs (Grundtvig and Erasmus+), we have carried out research and training projects. Following this work, we have obtained references in the field of international dissemination.

In 2019 we decided to start a common platform as a V4 civil society initiative – the Visegrad Women’s Initiative to help promote women’s employment with particular emphasis on the reconciliation of work and private/family life by sharing knowledge, experiences and best practices with special regard to the values of our region and its sustainability.

We have realized our first Visegrad Women Project as Coordinator under title „Women, Families, Careers - a Civil Society Forum in the V4 Spirit" thanks to the support of the Visegrad Fund and the Hungarian Ministry of Human Capacities in 2000. We have also introduced the project on EU and UN levels.

Our Czech Partner

The Business & Professional Women CR (BPWCR) is a Czech non-profit organization, founded in 2010. It is a participating partner in the most influential federation, BPW International, which has an advisory status in the UN and participative status in Council of Europe.

Its members are influential women in leading positions, businesswomen and managers. The main BPW objective is to help professional women in their economic, political and social life. It attains this goal through networking, mentoring and lifelong learning, as well as projects targeting specific groups of women. For 12 years they have organized the largest conference, Equal Pay Day, which not only draws attention to the still high discrepancy in men's and women's incomes, but also addresses the position of women at work and presents women's role models. They were participating partners in the Visegrad Project “Women, Families, Careers – a Civil Society Forum in the V4 Spirit” in 2020, coordinated by the AWCDH.

Our Polish Partner

The Pedagogical University of Krakow works closely with business and industry and NGOs, and also with diverse social environments.  The effects of strengthening these relations include development of new courses and specializations, taking into account the needs of the dynamically developing labor market, contracts with representatives of the industry and services sector, cooperation with HR departments of the largest companies. It participates in Erasmus+ and Horizon EU projects. It established cooperation with the Association for Women’s Career Development in the field of „women’s career for a lifetime” and work/life balance issues. As Partner in the “Women, Families, Careers – A Civil Society Forum in the V4 Spirit” it will focus on tasks relating to research and dissemination through its academic network in Poland and around the world.

Our Slovak Partner

The Association of Business Women and Managers, founded in 2001, is a non-profit, non-governmental and non-state association. They are dedicated to support and promote the interests and needs of businesswomen and women in leading positions. They also support women’s leadership in our society. They have participated in following projects: •Entrepreneurship in rural tourism and agrotourism - Phare project • Slovakia-Czech conference on international level: New Trends in Employment - Telework •Project "A child is not an obstacle - or the return of women after maternity leave •Employers are family-friendly and gender equal • REGIONFEMME - women - education - entrepreneurship – Slovak – Austrian project in years 2009 – 2013. As an associate partner, we have also participated in the AWCDH’s project, “Women, Families, Careers – A Civil Society Forum in the V4 Spirit” in 2020, to which we were invited by the Slovak Business Agency.

 

Further information:
Ms. Andrea Ferenczi project manager
Mobile: +36309827093
Email: ferenczi@t-online.hu
 www.visegradwomen.net

 

The Project is co- financed by the Governments of Czechia, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia
 through Visegrad Grants from International Visegrad Fund.
The mission of the fund is to advance ideas for sustainable regional cooperation in Central Europe.
www.visegradfund.org


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